Day 30 – Take The Trail As It Comes

Day 30

Start: Peck’s Corner Shelter

End: Cosby Knob Shelter

Miles Hiked: 12.9

Miles on AT: 231.3


This morning, we awoke at 7:00 am to the sound of rain. I had slept soundly, snug and warm. Still wrapped in our warmth, we waited for a lull in the rain and then packed up and broke down the tent. Everyone else at the shelter was hustling and bustling; they were mostly done with breakfast and were making final preparations to leave. 

We took our time and were the last to leave around 9:20 am. At first there wasn’t any rain, instead misty fog lingering on the trail and in the sky. However, an hour later it began – the dreaded rain. I have to admit, it wasn’t completely terrible. It was constant, but not a downpour. I was still a little soured by being wet, though.

Umbrella up, I continued on. The combination of rain + the morning + hunger left me a little grumpy. After a brief snack perched on a log under my umbrella, things were almost okay again. We had a few climbs to tackle, but nothing too serious.

One thing that I’ve been working on in my trail mindset is taking the trail as it comes. I have a habit of anticipating how the terrain will treat me based on the map profile. My great memory for print keeps my mind retracing the day’s terrain as it appears on the map. The running commentary in my mind keeps track of what inclines we’ve already climbed, how many more we have to go, and the different landmarks in between. Obviously, it can get a bit tiring.

But, by trying to look at the map less and keeping fewer tabs on what we’ve seen and what should come next, I’m hoping to take some of the pressure off of the day. I’ve found that a lot of times the anticipation of something can be even worse than the thing itself. So, I want to take things easy, let the trail unfold without expectation, and worry less. And if I can do this in my trail life, maybe I can translate it into my real life as well.

After a few miles, we stopped at the next shelter for lunch. A bunch of thru hikers were there as well. Good conversation flowed over our extended lunch, all of us commiserating over the rain while trading hiker food tips. It was great.

We got back on trail and magically reached a spot with a view. The rain was starting to let up and the sun was coming out. We started our descent and luckily my knees were holding up well. I now had 2 knee braces and despite how dorky they looked, I was very satisfied with the results. I had virtually no pain and felt like I could hike all day.

As usual, the last mile was the longest, but we made it to the shelter in time to set up our tent before it started to rain again. Things are very damp, but at least we’re dry.


And that’s day 30.


Follow my journey on instagram (@jenbrownhikes) for more updates!


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Comments 2

  • jim pullen : May 16th

    thanks for the updates. You do not look Dorky at all. you are beautiful and an inspiration to many.

    • Jen Brown : May 19th

      Thank you, that brightens my day!


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